Although I’ve now written ‘The End’, the latest novel isn’t finished. It now has to go through the essential stage of being left to marinate before I even look at it again. I’m actually almost desperate to get at it and move things around and add more explanation in the final stages, but I’m not going to let myself do that for at least a month – maybe even longer. In the case of one of my previous novels the marination process went on for over a year and was repeated much later once I had added another 30,000 words and an extra viewpoint character, making the completion of the novel take around four years.
I’m not planning to take that long, but I always find I need at least some distance between writing and editing. Occasionally I will use part of this time for research, if I need to do any. In the case of ‘Frozen in Crime’, because of the way the plot has developed I am going to need to find out a little more about power stations and how they operate. This was rather unexpected so I didn’t know in advance I was going to need to research it. It’s partly Amaryllis’s fault, as anyone who reads the novel will find out.
There are already a few things bothering me about the way the plot developed, including the disappearance (not at all sinister) of one of my favourite characters, the role of the police, and an extremely abrupt ending, but all I can do for the moment is to make a few notes to remind me of these concerns when I actually re-open the Word file. This could all be because of my refusal to outline, but I am sure even people who plan every chapter still have to go through this marinate/edit/proof-read/marinate / re-edit thing.
And now to spend the day on a little light gardening while the sun stays around.